Tag: social media

MTU Social Media Channels Ranked No. 3 Overall for 2023 Higher Ed Engagement Report

According to Rival IQ’s 2023 Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report, Michigan Tech’s social media was ranked No. 3 overall for the Top D2 Overall Higher Education Institutions on Social category. This is Tech’s first time making it on the Rival IQ report.

Rival IQ’s Michigan Tech section in the “Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report 2023

The report assesses colleges and universities based on their overall engagement and engagement rates. The criteria for engagement on social media involves quantifiable interactions such as likes, comments, favorites, saves, retweets, shares, and reactions. To calculate engagement rate, divide the total engagement by the number of followers. High engagement rates, coupled with average or better-than-average audience size and posting volumes, are the key factors that distinguish the best-performing colleges and universities on social media.

Collaborations across teams within Michigan Tech’s University Marketing and Communications department has played a key role in our high engagement on social media platforms. Working together, teams shared their expertise and knowledge to create better campaigns, content, and strategies.

For example, the social media team worked closely with the content team to develop compelling stories that resonated with the audience. The studio team provided visually appealing graphics, photos, and video that grabbed attention. Similarly, the data gathered using analytics provided valuable insights into what type of content resonated with the audience and what didn’t. Tech’s social media team has been putting an increased effort on using engagement rate to decipher content direction. Utilizing insights gathered from engagement rate helps with understanding the relationship between our brand and our audience.

The report touted Michigan Tech’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. “The Huskies love science, and are proud to show it through their social media content, featuring everything from research to science-related student activities to faculty achievements,” it stated.

You can follow Tech on social media @michigantech.
Take a look at some of MTU’s most engaged posts from the past year.

Faculty on Social Media: Best Practices for Growing a Following

Graphic that states "Faculty on Social Media: Best Practices for Growing a Following" the image behind the text shows Michigan Tech's campus from above in the summer time. The Portage Canal and Mont Ripley are in the background.
Faculty on Social Media: Best Practices for Growing a Following

Let’s take a quick glimpse at best practices for Michigan Tech faculty to follow when trying to grow a following on social media. These insights are geared toward faculty members using their using personal social media accounts to share research and thought leader content.

Growing Your Following

There are many ways to grow your following on social media platforms but we are going to focus on three digestible tactics– being a genuine follower, engaging with your followers, and sharing content.

1. Be a genuine follower

An important part of growing a following is following other accounts. A good place to start with following other accounts is taking a look at the Michigan Tech Social Media Directory. We have compiled list of active social media accounts that are related to Michigan Tech. For example, if you are a faculty member in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, it makes sense for your personal account to give the CFRES social media accounts a follow.

After you’ve assessed which Michigan Tech accounts you want to follow, think about your field of interest. Look for other social media accounts that interest you and that you want to engage with. A popular account that many faculty members follow for the latest news, discoveries, and funding opportunities is the National Science Foundation. Think about the communities you are part of and follow them on social media. Some other ideas for social media accounts to follow could include any local community groups, advisory boards, councils, academic societies, government agencies you are part of. It’s possible that these groups listed have a social media presence– it could be a great fit for you to follow them.

2. Engaging with your followers

Part of creating a presence on social media includes engaging with other accounts. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation and establish connections with your audience. It’s not necessary to engage with everyone, but liking and commenting on others posts is a great way to show your personality and expertise. Engaging with your followers and other users helps to boost your content and expands your profiles reach. The algorithm on most social media platforms rewards engagement (i.e. commenting, liking, sharing content).

3. Sharing Content

When thinking about creating content it helps to take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions.

1. Who, what, when, where, why?
2. What is one main key takeaway I want my followers to gain from this content?

Once you’ve answered those questions, then think about the type of post it is going to be. Also, take a look at our social media field guide. This is a great place to gather more platform specific information.

Types of Posts:

News:

Sharing news on campus/departmental events along with articles from reliable sources is one way to add value to your following. This is especially key if you are sharing content that is related to your area of expertise. Let’s say a researcher at another institution publishes a paper related to your field. Don’t hesitate to share it, tag the researcher, and add your thoughts or praise as an expert.

Data:

Data being communicated and partnered with a compelling narrative is where Michigan Tech faculty can truly shine. If applicable and allowable, share your own insights from data you’ve acquired in research. Share data that other faculty members in your college and at Michigan Tech have gathered. What does the data you are sharing mean? Think about the best way to simplify and communicate your data. Sharing accurate and reliable data from trusted sources adds to your presence as a thought leader and combats the problem of mis information online.

Lighthearted Content:

We’ve all seen the memes about Dogecoin or an adorable kitten. Social media is also a place to have some fun, entertain and even inspire your followers. If most of your content online is related to your area of expertise, that’s okay! If most of your social media content is photos of your dog, that’s okay, too! Think about what you want your accounts to be and how you want to use them. In our experience, adding personality and backstory to a post boosts engagement. It’s okay to share a tasteful and funny meme or a Buzzfeed quiz where you learned which Disney character you are. Just know that your followers want to get to know you. You can be positioned as a thought leader in your field on social media while also being a huge fan of cross country skiing and cat memes.

Opinion Piece:

While this opinion posts can gain a lot of engagement, it can also be risky to share strong and controversial opinions. Tread lightly around sensitive topics and share opinions with evidence to support your thoughts. One thing that MTU social suggests doing on a personal account is placing something like “Opinions are my own” in your profile bio. This way your opinions are separate from the institution you work for. Find an example below.

Twitter account bio for @EAHarter says, "Digital Media Specialist & Social Media autodidact. #HESM @notredame Opinions are my own." Faculty on Social Media Series: Best Practices
Twitter account bio for @EAHarter says, “Digital Media Specialist & Social Media autodidact. #HESM @notredame Opinions are my own.”

Notes for the Road:

Here are a few more pointers to think about related to your social media accounts.

  • Check for spelling, grammatical and factual errors. In this case, do think twice, it’s alright. (Bob Dylan reference anyone?)
  • Before pressing post, take a moment to think. Use your best judgement and think about how you want to be perceived as a professional online.
  • Post, engage and share content frequently but also sustainably. What is sustainable for you when posting online is the most important when trying to grow a following.
  • Identify influencers in your field and study how they engage with their audience and content.
  • Pay attention to your top performing posts and think about why they were successful. Try similar content to what has worked for you in the past while also paying attention to new social media tactics.
  • Reach out to MTU social if you have questions. We love being a helping hand with social media related questions. Email us at social@mtu.edu.

Artificial Intelligence on Social Media in 2023: Takeaways and Observations by the MTU Social Media Team

Image of three snow statues created by Artificial Intelligence DALL·E Mini

Takeaways and Observations from the Social Media Today article, “AI Creation Tools Will Change the Way We Create, Engage and Interact in 2023

It’s official, we’ve made it to the point in human history where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a main topic of conversation in the marketing space. For better or for worse AI technology, such as DALL·E or Canva’s newest AI image generator to name a couple, are gaining in popularity. Social Media Today‘s article highlights four main topics centered around AI and social media marketing – content creation, image production, AI Tweets, and AI generated 3D models. Don’t be mistaken, we didn’t copy and paste part of the “Back to the Future” script hoping to fool you. Each topic reviewed by Social Media Today brought to the surface some thoughts from the MTU social media team – we’d love to share.

Content Creation & Image Production:

If you haven’t used any AI tools before reading this, I’d recommend checking out the free AI image generator tool DALL·E Mini. It really is incredible how specific you can get with generating an image (peep the header image for this article – it was created with AI image tech). On Michigan Tech’s social media accounts we have played around with using AI image generators for mostly humorous content.

(MTU TikTok AI Image Generator – MTU Instagram AI Image generated post)

AI Copywriting

Continued growth of AI copywriting technology could be an advantage for content creators. More mundane content online could help brands stand out on the copywriting front if they have a dedicated crew of writers.

AI SEO Writing

AI copywriting could be a useful tool for SEO content. Using AI copywriting to help with cutting down on writing time is something that seems to be a bonus for SEO marketers.

“But if SEO is your goal, and you want to cut down on time, then this [Artificial Intelligence] could be an option.”

Andrew Hutchinson, Head of Content and Social Media at Social Media Today

Copyright Concerns

As of now, the copyright remains in the creator’s hands (i.e. the user, who prompted the creation of the AI images or writing). Copyright with AI images does however, seem to be a slippery slope pertaining to artists’ work. Individuals can prompt AI to create a piece of work that looks like it was made by a famous or well known artist. An example of an image prompt for AI would be, “create a painting of a dog eating an ice cream cone in the style of Banksy”.

As AI technology advances and learns more, it may be harder for content writers to stand out. It’ll be interesting to see how usage with AI technology evolves in the social media space. 

:robot_face:

Introducing MTU Social Media Admins Group

MTU Social Media Admins is an internal Google Group run by university marketing and communications (UMC) that is dedicated to collaboration, social media education and providing resources for social media managers around Michigan Tech’s campus. 

We are looking for the individuals on campus who run social media accounts pertaining to Michigan Tech including faculty, staff and students. The group will act as a sounding board or place to ask for feedback on social media posts. It will also act as a place for UMC to provide various resources including helpful articles on social media platform updates and best practices.

How to join MTU Social Admins

If you are interested in joining this Google Group please email social@mtu.edu asking to be added. Keep an eye out for an email invite!


How to find MTU Social Admins Once a Member

You won’t need to go far to find the MTU Social Admins Google Group. Look no further than your Gmail. In the sidebar where you find the Gmail Inbox tab, you will see a tab section below the Gmail Inbox Tab called “Spaces” open up that tab by pressing the plus sign to the right. Then look for “MTU Social Media Admins”. Boom, you are in!


Image of where to find MTU Social Media Admins Google Group Chat in Gmail


Run an MTU social media account and need some guidance? Email @social@mtu.edu to get in touch with Michigan Tech’s social media team.

Live Tweeting 101

Share presentations and conversations during workshops, keynotes, and presentations to pull in the audience who couldn’t be there and connect to individuals and groups elsewhere interested in the subject matter with Live Tweets. Science and Research Twitter are huge!

Plan for five to 10 tweets per event.

Why Live Tweet

  • Feature events and show spaces, people, or equipment.
  • Connect with scientific and government communities, who tend to prefer Twitter.
  • Build up your Twitter following.
  • Embed videos on department and project websites.

What Makes This Platform

  • Engage with a live audience interested in your topic.
  • Spread information beyond the single event.
  • Connect with niche audiences through hashtags and tagging.
  • Retweet interesting comments from your followers to keep the conversation going.

What Breaks This Platform

  • Can be boring. Use images, memes, and jokes when appropriate to keep attention level high.
  • Snark and rudeness are part of the Twitterverse. Monitoring required.
  • Multitasking a must (simultaneously type fast and pay attention).
  • Algorithm doesn’t favor accounts who don’t have thousands of followers.

Pro Tips

Pre-load intro and conclusion posts, and have applicable links, handles, and hashtags ready to copy, paste, and post on your device. Also, check out live Tweeting tips from the platform itself — Live Tweeting Tips from Twitter.

Examples

Questions?

Feel free to direct any questions you may have about Live Tweeting or social media in general to University Marketing and Communications social media staff at social@mtu.edu. We are happy to help!

How to Choose a Social Media Account Name

Michigan Technological University 1885 with a Husky on a boulder sign with soft-focus trees in the background shows MTU's logo.

When you’re naming your social media accounts, make it easy for folks to find you by using your actual name.

Bands are a good example of why that makes sense. Unless you’re a super fan or the group is Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, remembering individual band member names is nowhere as easy as simply knowing the name of a solo performer who goes by their actual name. 

Sure, we get that your department or organization’s full formal name is usually too long for a social media handle. You can include the formal name in your About section and choose something more abbreviated for your account name. What do the people you already interact with call you? Go with that. Examples include @michigantechhumanities (Instagram) and Michigan Tech College of Business (Facebook). 

Avoid symbols, acronyms, numbers and any other choices that aren’t intuitive to the audiences you want to engage with—for example, @AASMM_1885 doesn’t have the same search capability or user-friendly qualities as @MineralMuesumofMTU (the Facebook Page for A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum of Michigan Tech).

If it’s a University account, make your Michigan Tech affiliation clear, using MTU or Michigan Tech. Please follow MTU’s editorial guidelines by not using Michigan Tech University in social media or anywhere else. It leads to confusion about what kind of university we are.  

If you can, use the same name across all platforms where you have a presence. If you might join other social platforms in the future and want to ensure the name is reserved, as well as preventing others from unofficially nabbing the name, it’s a good idea to set up an account under your preferred name. You can activate it when you’re ready.

If you have the resources, it can be useful to set up a brainstorm with others in your unit to narrow down name choices. Once you settle on a name, head over to the Michigan Tech Social Networks directory and submit your account using the handy-dandy button in the right navigation pane. 

We’ll talk about account administrators next time. In the meantime, keep the social media questions coming to the University Marketing and Communications team at social@mtu.edu. We’ll get to as many as we can as fast as we can.

For more tips, check out Michigan Tech’s Social Media Field Guide.

What is Facebook Live?

Up-close image of a person holding their cellphone. On the screen of the phone is the login page for the app Facebook.

Facebook Live allows you to interact with your community by broadcasting video in real time from your phone or computer. Answer questions about campus life, take viewers on a lab tour, or share a special event, like Winter Carnival kickoff.

The ideal duration for a Facebook Live is 20 minutes. Lives are limited to four hours on a mobile device, and eight on other kinds of media set-ups, but unless you’re streaming a webinar or other programming, plan your event to be long enough to get people watching but not so long it bores them.

Why Use Facebook Live

  • Feature events and show spaces, people, or equipment.
  • Reach alumni and student families.
  • Build up your Facebook page.
  • Embed videos on department and project websites.

What Makes This Platform

  • Engage with a real, live audience.
  • Promote early across all your social media.
  • Frame your shot.
  • Do a dress rehearsal.

What Breaks This Platform

  • Bad internet connection.
  • Too long, viewers drop off.
  • Rude comments (enlist a team member to monitor in real time).
  • Be aware of ambient noise in your surroundings.

Pro Tip

Repurpose successful Lives by posting them to your YouTube channel.

Examples

Questions?

Reach out to University Marketing and Communications social media team for help at social@mtu.edu.

Instructions on Facebook Live from Facebook